martedì, ottobre 11, 2011

Ladyporn and 19th century domination

This looks like the ladyporn of all time. The fact of having a film version of Jane Eyre is always a minor event in Dread Pirate Jessica world, because of the importance that book has assumed for me (and my vocabulary) over the years - me and millions of others, which is why, I suppose, they always make new versions of it. I can practically recite the bloody thing backward so I get a pseudo-academic kick of seeing how film versions of it depart from my own internal vision of it.

I never expect to enjoy them as films or as a vision of the book. The book's unfilmable. Or rather it could be filmable as a 10-hour miniseries directed by David Lynch and starring ugly people, but you know who the audience for that would be? Me. I think the Charlotte Bronte and the David Lynch fans would be almost equally turned off. Which is one of the reasons I suppose it's never been done yet. Still, if I was a billionaire, I'd try really hard to persuade David Lynch to do it. I don't know another director who could communicate Jane's emotional life as it's communicated in the book.

Because the book is about Jane, of course. It's only about the romance and the melodrama as showcases for Jane's fucked-up brain, a brain that's only going to be able to really embrace the romance once Rochester's wings are viciously and painfully snipped; a Jane who only evinces signs of getting turned on when she's at least getting the illusion of control and equality - or domination - over her partner. Rochester's big sexy manliness, which has been much commented on, is I believe in part made so awfully big and so awfully sexy to show us the depths of Jane's happiness when she manages to fasten it to herself with a watch-chain, which by-the-by is a reversing motif Charlotte Bronte used to express possession between Jane and Rochester - I could cite pages but this is a blog and no-one is giving me credits.

Rochester didn't have to lose an eye and an arm in the fire when his wife offed herself to open the way for a legal and sexy reunion with Jane. Charlotte Bronte chose that for a reason, and for a very good one - because after so many hundreds of pages with Jane and her hallucinatory but strong internal monologues, the reader would understand almost as well as the writer that the only way someone like Jane was going to be happy with Rochester was with a tamed, dependent Rochester. It's actually all pretty psycho, when you think about it. Fuck, it's a good book. I really, really wish David Lynch would turn it into a miniseries.

Anyways, I don't expect the movie to be terrific, but it'll have Michael Fassbender emoting out Rochester's big sexy scenes, so it's gonna be hot. He's not ugly enough for me to think he'd do it in my David-Lynch-directed-miniseries-fantasy way, or indeed for me to imagine him acting out the Rochester who has become part of my brain from so many years - how many, nearly 20 now, of loving that book? - but that's not what ladyporn is about.

Ladyporn is about the odd times when it makes sense somehow that Mr. Darcy goes swimming in the middle of Pride and Prejudice so Elizabeth gets to see he's packing some heat under all those clothes, or when the director of the Great Escape chooses Charles Bronson to be having a shower during the inspection scene and not one of his skinny-ass little co-stars, or the scenes in the Nolan Batman movies where he's toplessly getting out of bed after a long night's fighting. Ladyporn is gratuitous. Usually it either comes in dribs and drabs or it's so poorly done I feel condescended to. But casting a man who looks like a Daniel Day Lewis who's got beat with the pretty stick, and who is actually, you know, good at acting - casting him as one of the most romantic Romantic heroes of all time, who's walking around with the biggest boner in 19th century literature - now, that is Ladyporn.

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